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Proposal: Amateur Radio

Hi, I am the "moderator" of the Windom Antenna Yahoo!Group. This quite specialised group already counts over 1000 members.

I wandered into this StackExchange group because I was thinking about a more structured venue for my topic.

This got me thinking; Irrespective of the difficulty of setting up a StackExchange group, is this "Amateur Radio" StackExchange topic not too broad in scope?

Perhaps the rec.radio.amateur USENET list may serve as a good reference of measure. Many similar questions are posted and answered in this list. However, there I see the list is further divided into the following eight subtopics:

  • rec.radio.amateur.general
  • rec.radio.amateur.antenna
  • rec.radio.amateur.digital
  • rec.radio.amateur.boatanchors
  • rec.radio.amateur.policy
  • rec.radio.amateur.equipment
  • rec.radio.amateur.homebrew
  • rec.radio.amateur.dx

Should we not try to extend our effort by bringing to live all these subtopics? Perhaps even more, like EME, satellites, VHF, repeaters, SDR, ...

  • If you find this question interesting then, please, vote for it! TNX & 73 – Serge Stroobandt Jun 12 '13 at 19:25
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A Stack Exchange site is way broader than a Usenet group. On a topic where Usenet is (or has been) popular with the audience, I would expect a large number Usenet groups to correspond to one Stack Exchange site.

There is no expectation that anyone would read all the posts on a Stack Exchange site. The busiest Stack Exchange site, Stack Overflow, is about programming (that covers a large subset of comp.*, including all of comp.lang and more), and receives about 7000 questions per day. The second-busiest site is Mathematics, at about 330 questions per day; this mostly corresponds to sci.math, but that's a pretty busy group.

A Stack Exchange site is typically built for an audience around a topic. “Amateur radio” defines both an audience and a topic. “Amateur radio antennas” defines a narrower topic but not really an audience — any radio amateur can be expected to have at least a passing interest in antennas, and conversely an antenna expert is probably interested in other aspects of using that antenna for something.

In academic subjects, the right size of a Stack Exchange site is typically a university department.

  • That is a very nice answer that will serve many newcomer hams to stackexchange. – Serge Stroobandt Jun 12 '13 at 19:22
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The best way to test your premise is to propose site(s) of your own. If this proposal is too broad to capture the interests of these more-focused groups, an alternative proposal might simply catch on faster. It happens.

But either way, this subject is going to need some more evangelists to get the subject off the ground.

  • Hi Robert. Thanks for your answer. It is comparable as starting a group about programming whilst having many programming languages. You would like to have some filter or subdivision probably. Anyhow, I am sending join invitations to my e-mail groups in order to gain some momentum here. – Serge Stroobandt May 25 '13 at 8:28
  • @on4aa That's great! It's been really slow lately.. – Seth Jun 5 '13 at 16:03
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    @on4aa I forgot to mention, sites are categorized and filtered by tags, so there is organization. – Seth Jun 7 '13 at 3:29
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    @on4aa: Not sure if you've ever heard of Stack Overflow, but it was the original Stack Exchange site. And it's just about programming languages, there isn't a filter on language per say. Of course, you can filter based off of tags, so if you just want c++ questions, you can look at just that. The same thing would apply here. – PearsonArtPhoto Jun 12 '13 at 13:50
  • @PearsonArtPhoto Yes, I know stackoverflow. However, there always counterexamples; take for example electronics.stackexchange.com and dsp.stackexchange.com Nonetheless, I was taught DSP as a subdiscipline of electronics when reading for my EE engineering degree. However, I can live with a single amateur radio stackexchange. – Serge Stroobandt Jun 13 '13 at 8:42

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